ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Arup BanerjiSubscribe to Arup Banerji

On the Four-Year Undergraduate Programme

We are in the midst of strong protests by teachers and students against the imposition of the Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) in Delhi University. Since forums for academic discussion and debate in the university are no longer functioning, this letter from faculty members of the History...

Notes on the Histories of History in the Soviet Union

During most of the lifespan of the Soviet Union, history and historiography remained subject to specific restrictive constraints. It was during the last few years pending its demise that an "unleashing of the energy of history" produced a flood of new work in various genres, that fundamentally challenged received wisdom. The foci of this essay are, firstly, to depict the manner by which the Soviet regime controlled research institutions, publications and themes in the domain of history and, secondly, to chart the shifting positions concerning discussion of key events in Soviet history. The archive and the textbook have been singled out as exemplifying Soviet policies. The essay is interpretative and illustrative; it does not lay any claim to serving as an exhaustive chronicle of the histories of history in the USSR.

Food Shortages in Russia

The maintenance of living standards, public health, even life itself are gravely threatened by the scarcity of food in Russia. These circumstances are more the product of the unaffordability of food than its absolute unavailability. Given the unlikelihood of sharp improvements in productivity, food shortages are likely to persist until at least the next harvest.

Privatisation in the Russian Federation

Arup Banerji In exploring some of the contributory causes, mechanisms and impediments to privatisation in the Russian Federation, this paper argues that the process has been borne forward by the strength of a predominantly political calculus. By grounding the pro gramme in the free distribution of vouchers, the government has hoped to replace conservative directors of the Soviet- era with a shareholding citizenry and thereby impart an irreversibility to the reform process as a whole. The redistribution of state property is occurring in the absence of a requisitely clear legal framework, of external controls over management by shareholders and of mature financial institutions. This has furthered a novel form of bureaucratic dominance over state industry and quasi-criminal primacy over the distributive network. Consequently, this pivotal reformist strand has gained a formal, numerical success but lacks the attributes to underpin economic transformation in the direction of genuine private management.

Military as a Factor in Russian Politics

Arup Banerji In the logomachy that has sought to encapsulate the nature of the 'Second October Revolution' in terms of deceptively seductive antonyms (democrats versus hardliners, or marketeers versus commandists), the decline in the primacy of the military, even its being deprived of a historically inherited function, has gone unremarked. To combat the baleful symptoms of this, the military is more likely to use the factor of Yeltsin ' political debt to it to garner revenues and personnel, to consolidate its role as arbiter of scarcity in the localities or, internationally, to push for an upward revision of the conventional armed forces terms on Russian deployments in the Caucasusthan to urge a militarised polity.
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